Karnali Province reports zero women representation under FPTP, single candidate to represent Dalits

Published On: November 28, 2022 02:50 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KARNALI, Nov 28: In the Karnali Province Assembly, just a single Dalit candidate has been elected under the first-past-the-post system. 

Rana Singh Pariyar of the CPN (Maoist Centre) is the single Dalit candidate winning the recently held PA elections from Humla (1) to represent his community in the PA. 

He defeated independent candidate Mangal Bahadur Shahi by a margin of 1,851 votes. He secured 6,481 votes against 4,630 by Shahi. Aside from him being elected under the direct system, other political parties here did not feel it necessary to give tickets to Dalits in the elections. 

No woman candidate from major political parties 

Major political parties - the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) - did not find it necessary to field women candidates in the PA election. But, the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) fielded three female candidates: Manakali Ramjali from Surkhet 1(B), Bijukala Rana from Surkhet 2(A) and Laxmi Kumari Singh from the Dailekh 1(B). They finished with 63, 306 and 202 votes respectively to lose the elections. 

Rights activist Pabitra Shahi says that the parties that had chances to win the election denied women any candidacy. “Based on gender issues, to prevent women from competing under the direct elections, and discourage their participation and leadership in politics under any circumstances is against the Constitution,” Shahi said, asserting the need for raising this issue strongly in the days ahead.  

The assessment of Maoist Centre’s Karnali Province Chair Bimala KC is that women are equally capable of winning the FPTP elections. “We see the nationwide scenario. Women had got the tickets for the direct election, but it was not encouraging and not in line with the Constitutional provisions. In the case of the Karnali Province Assembly, political parties did a great injustice to half the population by denying women’s rights to be voted.”  

According to the Election Commission’s data, in the Province, the UML has so far got 183,950 votes under the proportional representation (PR) followed by 170,765 by the Nepali Congress, 137,629 by the CPN (Maoist Centre), 35,826 by the CPN (Unified Socialist), 25,186 by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, 8,993 by the NWPP and 3,019 by the CPN (ML).

Other political parties have obtained less than 2,000 votes. In Karnali, political parties have so far achieved 576,000 votes in total. All direct election seats are occupied by males. 

The 40-member PA is constituently mandated to ensure 33 percent participation of women, and it seems 13 women would be elected under the PR system to ensure the provision as the number of their wins under the direct election was not enough.


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